NEW MEMBER PERSONAL WELCOME to the CHRISTIAN MARTIAL ARTS FELLOWSHIP
Below is information in regards to our specific concepts on teaching the martial art through the Christian perspective so that you further understand our standards for affiliation. There are two types of membership into the CMAF, individual and chapter/club.
Individual membership is usually sought by those who do not have a local martial arts school that teaches through the Christian perspective. The student normally continues their training at the secular organization, but has plans to one day start their own Christian church-based ministry. A simple doctrinal agreement is essential for membership and the student receives full technical and ministerial support from the CMAF.
The second and more common type of affiliation is a chapter/club membership. Each Christian Martial Arts Fellowship chapter or club maintains full autonomy. However there are Biblical principles and ideals that we all agree to uphold regardless of our individualized martial arts training, secular affiliation, or teachings. Those principles and ideals are what follow.
The primary goal of the CMAF is to cultivate mature Christian students. This goal is attained via spiritual discipleship, mental discipline and physical development. We teach our students how to live, not how to fight. In our world today, there is a real need for self-defense. Due to the sin of people, the peace that was the nature of God's creation has been perverted, and as a result our society is in decay, with people committing violent acts against each other. Many people live in fear of each other, and there is a true need in our communities to learn how to protect ourselves. Many people turn to secular martial arts to help them extinguish their fear. However, what is missing is teaching on the only true way to protect your life in an eternal sense, which comes through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior. The Christian Martial Arts Fellowship meets the needs of the whole person, enabling us to defend our physical self and teaching us the only way our spiritual self can be saved - through the grace of Jesus Christ.
While, self-defense is a righteous action, this knowledge can be twisted by the depravity of our hearts into a motive for personal vengeance and violence. The desire to get even is one of the ugliest human emotions for which no justification can be given. The Christian's response to personal attacks should be to avoid all internal bitterness and external retaliation. The only way this can be achieved is through the development of a Christ-like character. This knowledge of right from wrong, and more importantly, forming habits of right action equaling holy virtues.
Integral to the Christian martial arts is this development of righteous living, as taught in the Bible. The purpose of holy living is to keep striving to be like our Master, Jesus Christ. Holy living is achieved through a pure heart (spiritual), a discerning mind (mental), and a disciplined body (physical).
The pure heart (often referred to as one's conscience) is the core of righteousness. Here, the truth is known and there is no conflict of loyalty, no cleavage of interest, no mixture of motives, no hypocrisy, and no insincerity. The pure heart is harmony with our Creator, who is Holy and righteous. It is only possible to attain a pure heart by inviting Jesus Christ into our heart, accepting Him as Savior.
A discerning mind is the action of keeping our "being," particularly our will, in line with the source of purity in our heart - Jesus Christ. We must distinguish and choose what is true, or appropriate or excellent. A discerning mind, also referred to as wisdom, is the key to all understanding. Proverbs 4:9 says, "Get wisdom, get understanding." Discernment reveals insight and understanding from God's Word, and His creation. And it keeps our God-given creative nature in line with the Creator's physical and moral laws.
A disciplined body is a body that strives to control its sinful nature, keeping its action in line with the source of purity in our heart - Jesus Christ. As Christians, our body is a temple and God's Spirit lives in us (I Cor. 6:19). Because of Christ's perfection, if He is within our hearts we are also perfect in that He covers our impurity. However, our minds and bodies are still sinful in their nature. Hence, the goal of a Christian should be to please our Savior, who lives in our hearts, by striving to bring His temple, our body and mind, in line with His purity. In the Christian Martial Arts Fellowship, the body is trained and developed by spiritual instruction and exercise, resulting in physical and mental self-discipline - the purpose of the Christian Martial Arts.
The Christian Martial Arts Fellowship believes that self-defense is something that God allowed in His Creation because of sin. The God who put quills in the porcupine, smell in the skunk, and venom in the viper, caused David to say, "Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." (Psalms 144: 1) However, there is most certainly a right way, and a wrong way. The Christian martial arts are not just about physical self-defense, but about spiritual graces and character such as, "A wise man is mightier than a strong man. Wisdom is mightier than strength." (Prov. 24:5), and "A soft tongue can break hard bones." (Prov. 25:15).
We believe that Christians can study the martial arts and do so in holiness as unto the Lord. We do, however, recognize the strong occult powers entrenched in Asian practice and academies. We also understand that the martial arts predate the oriental martial arts and our goal is to reclaim the martial arts for Christ. God is the standard for everything we do, including the martial arts, and He predates all histories. Hence, the CMAF takes the position that, although offering many parallels to Christianity, the Asian religious philosophy is a counterfeit of the original "righteous way" of God. This counterfeit is a dangerous trap, set by the enemy of Christ's Church - Satan. God in His Word has made it very clear that Christians are not to "learn the way of the heathen."
Hence, the CMAF and its members are to practice martial arts in accordance with God's standard, the Bible. The Christian Martial Arts Fellowship is accountable to the church. While some schools operate independently, all chapters and clubs they may host through the Christian Martial Arts Fellowship are required to be part of a local church ministry. We place ourselves under their spiritual authority. The CMAF believes that the local church is God's ordained institution for this age. Thus, the CMAF and its members place themselves under the umbrella and auspice of a local church.
It is necessary that all members, clubs, and chapters agree doctrinally. We major on the majors. No splitting of hairs, no “traditions of man” are important to the CMAF. We do, however, believe that we must all be agreed on the following primary Biblical teachings: We believe in the existence of the Triune Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory, yet one in being, and that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Virgin born, sinless Son of God (God the Son), and His shed blood is the only atonement for sin. We believe in the literal Genesis accounts of the creation and fall of man, and oppose any form of evolutionary teaching. We believe in the verbal-plenary inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, as the actual Word of God; that they constitute the final authority for faith and practice for the Christian. We believe in salvation through personal faith in the shed Blood of Christ and the regeneration of man by the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the existence of Satan, who is a real, distinct, and definite personality, and in the existence of fallen spirits who oppose God's work and purpose. We believe in the natural depravity of the human heart, because of the sin of Adam and subsequent fall of man, and the need of each person to be changed through the new birth. We believe in the existence of heaven, where the righteous shall dwell with God for eternity. We also believe in the existence of a literal hell, or lake of fire, into which the lost shall suffer all eternity. We believe in the visible, actual, bodily return of Jesus Christ to this earth. We believe that the bodily resurrection of the Saints of this present age, who will be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds before that great and terrible day of the Lord, will begin a series of climatic events "such as not known before," consummating this present age, opening the millennium, and final judgments. We believe that the born-again child of God is to live a holy life, separated from the things of this world which would hinder his spiritual life and his testimony before others. We believe that the church is the body of a truly born-again believers. We believe that every born-again Saint is commanded to be an active participating member of such a local church. The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Peace, Johnny Russell